Be in Love with Audrey!
Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way.
Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn. Today would have been her 85th birthday! “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” still remains in my top 10 movies of all time and she remains one of my top Style Icons.
Here’s some fun facts about Breakfast at Tiffany’s:”
- In the 2006 short documentary Breakfast at Tiffany’s: The Making of a Classic (2006), Blake Edwards said that when the movie was made, he didn’t think about the implications of casting a white actor, Mickey Rooney, in a role as a Japanese person, but “looking back, I wish I had never done it… and I would give anything to be able to recast it.”
- Audrey Hepburn said the scene where she throws Cat into the rainy street was the most distasteful thing she ever had to do on film.
- Tiffany’s opened its doors on a Sunday for the first time since the 19th century so that filming could take place inside the store.
- Author Truman Capote envisioned Marilyn Monroe in the part of Holly Golightly. Monroe was originally cast as Golightly, but her drama coach, Lee Strasberg, told her that playing a call-girl was not good for her image. The film went on to be a huge success, with Monroe’s replacement Audrey Hepburn receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Actress.
- Although not visible on camera, hundreds of onlookers watched Audrey Hepburn‘s window-shopping scene at the start of the film. This made her nervous and she kept making mistakes. It wasn’t until a crew member nearly got electrocuted behind the camera that she pulled herself together and finished the scene.
- About nine cats were used throughout the film as the role of Cat.
- At a post-production meeting following a screening of the film, a studio executive, in reference to “Moon River,” said, “Well, I think the first thing we can do is get rid of that stupid song.” Audrey Hepburn stood up at the table and said, “Over my dead body!” The song stayed in the picture.
- Holly Golightly wears the same dresses all the way through the movie, simply changing the accessories to give each outfit a different look. Her black shift dress features through the movie at least four times.
- Audrey felt that she was miscast as Holly Golightly in this film, although it was one of her most popular roles.
- The famous black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening scenes of this movie was sold for $807,000 on December 4, 2006 at Christie’s Auction House in London, making it the second most expensive piece of movie memorabilia ever sold. The first is the Best Picture Oscar for Gone with the Wind (1939).
- The movie was shot only three months after the birth of Hepburn’s first son, Sean H. Ferrer.
- Henry Mancini wrote “Moon River” specifically for Audrey Hepburn. He later said that while many version of the song have been done, he feels that Audrey’s was the best.
- Holly Golightly is supposed to be just nineteen years old when she meets with Paul. Audrey Hepburn was thirty-one years old when playing Holly.
- The song “Moon River” was written especially for Audrey Hepburn, since she had no training as a singer. The vocals were written to be sung in only one octave.
- In the famous “it should take you exactly 4 seconds to cross from here to that door. I give you two” scene, it takes Paul exactly 4 seconds from when he starts walking to when he reaches the door.
- George Peppard was a student of Method acting, a style Hepburn found difficult to work with. Nonetheless, the two actors remained close friends until her death.
- Audrey Hepburn‘s salary for the film was $750,000, making her the second highest paid actress (behind Elizabeth Taylor) per film at the time.
- Although it’s never explained why Holly is wearing a bed sheet at her cocktail party, an earlier scene (cut before release) established she’d been taking a bath and had to improvise a gown on the spur of moment. The cut scene was featured in Life magazine pictorial shortly before film was released.
- Audrey Hepburn hated Danish pastries, making filming the famous opening scene a bit of a chore for her.
- Elements of Holly’s character in the original novel, such as her flirtation with bisexuality, were omitted to make the part more suitable for Audrey Hepburn.
- In the film’s original trailer (included on the special edition DVD), the announcer mistakenly pronounces Truman Capote‘s last name as “Capot”, without pronouncing the “e” at the end of his name. This mistake was repeated (on purpose) on the “Mary Tyler Moore” show – Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) is demanding better writers and he says they should get “that Truman Capot fellow”. Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) tries to correct him by saying just “E”. Ted then says “oh yeah, Truman E. Capot”
- Truman Capote was reportedly unhappy with the decision to cast Audrey Hepburn as he’d been in favor of Marilyn Monroe. Hepburn was very self-conscious of her performance while Capote was on set as she felt inadequate as the Holly he had envisioned.
- Holly’s whistle when she hails a cab for Paul was actually dubbed in. Audrey Hepburn attempted to learn how to whistle with two fingers, but could never produce the desired sound.
- John Frankenheimer was hired to shoot the film with Marilyn Monroe. When the producers suddenly moved to Switzerland and Audrey Hepburn replaced Monroe, she said she had never heard of Frankenheimer and insisted that he be paid off and another director be hired.
- The uncredited voice of the “terrifying man” tearing up Holly’s apartment is actually George Peppard. Years later, in 1983, as Hannibal Smith of TV’s “The A-Team”, Peppard’s character regularly disguised his voice – a talent he used to deceive the show’s villains. Rather than dubbing his voice for those sequences, Peppard did the various voices himself.
- Audrey Hepburn supposedly exclaimed “over my dead body” when it was suggested that “Moon River” be removed from the film. However, there’s an alternative recollection of this event. On the DVD of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s Anniversary Edition,” co-producer Richard Shepherd says in his commentary that after a premiere in San Francisco, Paramount’s Head of Production desired to have “Moon River” removed from the film but “Marty [Jurow, co-producer] and I both said ‘over our dead bodies.'”
- In the opening sequence the cab drops Holly off at Tiffany’s which is 727 5th Avenue and she walks home to 167 E. 71st Street, a mile away, in high heels.
- Holly’s couch is really an old-fashioned bathtub split in half. In some scenes, you can still see the gold handles at one end and the legs on the bottom.
- Though she had known him previously and got along with him fine during rehearsals, Patricia Neal said that George Peppard was unbearable to work with.
- After seeing Buddy Ebsen in his country role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the creator of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) wanted him to play family patriarch Jed Clampett. At the time, Ebsen was thinking of retiring, but the producers sent him a copy of the script, and he changed his mind.
- The book Paul has written and brings to Holly’s apartment is titled “Nine Lives” – a reference to Cat.
- The story which Paul received the $50 check for is called Roman Caper, a reference to Audrey Hepburn‘s first starring role, Roman Holiday (1953).
- Truman Capote maintained that he based Holly Golightly on Carol Grace (the former wife of William Saroyan and future wife of Walter Matthau), who had been a friend of his while living in New York.
- In the Book the narrator describes how Holly would wash her hair and sit out on the fire escape thumbing her guitar while waiting for her hair to dry; this is reflected during her “Moonriver” scene, which is why she has a wrap around her hair.
- Director Blake Edwards was lunching with Mickey Rooney at a posh Hollywood restaurant when Rooney objected to how his salad was being tossed by the waiter and proceeded to show the ‘proper’ way to do it. Edwards thought Rooney’s attention-getting routine so funny that he wrote it into the movie.
- Tony Curtis stated in his 2008 autobiography that he asked his friend, director Blake Edwards to cast him in the role of writer Paul Varjak but Mel Ferrer didn’t want his wife, Audrey Hepburn to make a movie with him, so Edwards declined his services.
- Contrary to popular belief, the movie follows Truman Capote‘s original novel quite closely. The character of Mag Wildwood, the Amazon-like model who crashes Holly’s party in the film, is a major character in the novel. Capote describes her as having a stutter. In the film, Mag does indeed stutter though this isn’t explained. During the shoplifting sequence, Holly briefly dons a Huckleberry Hound mask; a direct reference to a line in her song, “Moon River.” Although Audrey Hepburn‘s performance of “Moon River” is unsurpassed, it would not be officially released until after her death. Holly’s “bad date” prior to her first visit to Paul’s apartment is only heard behind a door. The man who provides this voice is uncredited, but he sounds a lot like Mel Blanc, who at the time was working with film co-star Alan Reed on The Flintstones (1960).
- Holly’s real name is Lullamae, which means “Famous Warrior born in the Month of May”. The name she chooses for herself is Holiday, Holiday meaning “Born on a Holy Day”. In real life, Audrey Hepburn‘s birthday happens to be May 4th.
- Due to the Hays Code Fred’s homosexuality could not be referred to in the movie.
- 2-E (Patricia Neal‘s character) references Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), in which Mickey Rooney (Mr. Yunioshi) played the title role.
- Steve McQueen was offered the co-starring role. However, he was still under contract for the show Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958), which prevented him from appearing. The role eventually went to George Peppard.
- Alan Reed, who plays Sally Tomatoes, was the voice of Fred Flinstone, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Huckleberry Hound – the mask that Holly picks up in the store – is also a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
- Although the story in the movie occurs in 1960, the story in the novella is penned as occuring in 1943.
- The Patricia Neal character does not appear in Capote’s novella. The subplot of George Peppard serving as Neal’s “kept man” was apparently added to the movie to establish the heterosexual credentials of Peppard’s character. This then allowed for the movie’s boy-gets-girl climax, something also not found in the novella. It also gave Peppard a chance to appear bare-chested in a bedroom setting, the very best “beefcake” scene in his entire movie career.
- The movie’s poster was as #18 of “The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever” by Premiere.
- The perfume Holly is spraying in the apartment hallway during her drunken scenes is Makila by Jean Patou.
- In the book rack in the train station behind George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn can be seen in soft focus copies of a paperback version of “Peter Gunn (1962)” which was the TV show on which Henry Mancini and Blake Edwards worked.
- According to the screenplay, 2-E’s real name is Emily Eustace, hence the nickname “2-E.”
- The party sequence was reportedly the longest and hardest scene to shoot in the movie. Most of the gags that occur in the scene are not in the novel, but originally scripted by Blake Edwards.
- Jean Seberg was considered to play Holly.
- The lines of dialog “How do I look?”, “Very good. I must say, I’m amazed” and “I am a very stylish girl” were sampled in the Dimitri From Paris song “Une Very Stylish Fille”.
- Holly’s pad is much larger than the real-life brownstone used for exteriors.
- Several exterior scenes had to be reshot after the processing lab accidentally damaged one of the film reels. Cinematographer Franz Planer was no longer available for the reshoots however, and Blake Edwards bought in Philip H. Lathrop to take his place.
- Rusty Trawler’s full name is Rutherford Trawler.
- In the French post-synchronized version of the film, the actors are dubbed by: Jacqueline Carrel (Audrey Hepburn); Roland Ménard (George Peppard); Sylvie Deniau (Patricia Neal); Georges Hubert (Buddy Ebsen); Michel Gudin (Martin Balsam); Georges Riquier (John McGiver); André Valmy (Alan Reed) and Pierre Trabaud (Mickey Rooney).
- In the Italian post-synchronized version of the film, the actors are dubbed by: Maria Pia Di Meo (Audrey Hepburn); Pino Locchi (George Peppard); Nino Pavese (Buddy Ebsen); Nando Gazzolo (Martin Balsam) and Luigi Pavese (John McGiver).
- Premiered at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City.